When I first read the headline about “mindful drinking” thought geez, there’s mindful everything these days! As someone who practices total abstinence, it almost seemed to trivialize the idea of mindfulness to think that it could be applied to the consumption of alcohol. But when I read further, it turns out that mindful drinking is closer to not drinking than anything else. And I like that.
According to the article, “Forget the hangover, under-25s turn to mindful drinking,”
Forget pub crawls – increasing numbers of young people are replacing beer and wine with “mindful drinking” – where abstinence, not alcohol, is all the rage.
A fifth of British adults under-25 are teetotal, according to the Office for National Statistics, and numbers are on the rise. Motivated by health and income concerns, this new generation are bucking the trend of their parents, and choosing to drink in moderation, or not at all.
To me, who knew only one non-drinker when I was in that age-range, the stat that one fifth of Brits under 25 are hardly drinking or not drinking is quite something. It’s certainly not thought to be the norm.
Often when I am at conferences or academic events, it’s more difficult to accommodate my non-drinking than my veganism (yes, I am that guest — the horror!). What I liked most about the article about mindful drinking was its report that this trend is making pubs stand up and notice. They’re starting to offer a wider range of interesting mocktails and other non-alcoholic alternatives. That’s good news for more than the under-25s.
What is mindful drinking? According to the article:
“It’s about changing the way you think and feel about alcohol. For a lot of people, mindful drinking means switching to a lower percentage drink, cutting down for a week, doing a sober sprint, or trying out an alcohol-free for size…”
I realize not everyone has a problem with alcohol, but I do think that the default in our social world is that people will be drinking. And while drinking may have some social value and, for those who do not have a problem, might contribute to a pleasurable time, it’s hardly an essential ingredient without which it’s impossible to have fun.
So the idea of a more mindful approach that encourages moderation or even abstinence strikes me as a positive step and I applaud the young people who are stating to think differently about the place of alcohol in their lives.
Is moderating or changing your approach to alcohol something you ever think about? If you’re thinking of trying a more mindful approach to drinking, here’s a link to some delicious looking mocktail recipes. Cheers!